Bloodied, bruised and drenched in sweat, Vanessa Ives (Eva Green) could lose her life and soul to a demon on “Possession,” Episode 107 of Showtime’s supernatural thriller “Penny Dreadful.”
Standing by Vanessa during her lengthy ordeal are Sir Malcolm Murray (Timothy Dalton), Sembene (Danny Sapani), Ethan Chandler (Josh Hartnett) and Dr. Victor Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway).
What sparked the demonic takeover? Victor suspects a guilt reaction stemming from an act of sexual extremity or perversity. Good diagnosis, doctor, for Vanessa fully embraced her dark side during kinky sex with libertine Dorian Gray (Reeve Carney).
Victor’s treatment regimen consists of sedation, blood transfusions, vitamins and essential proteins.
“But for all our efforts,” the young scientist cautions, “we may have to let her go.”
That’s a distinct possibility, for the devil in Miss Ives is wreaking havoc on her body and Malcolm’s mansion. The demon also exposes innermost secrets of the four caregivers -- when he’s not hurling them into walls.
Malcolm sheds light on the possession, suggesting Vanessa is the incarnation of an ancient Egyptian goddess. And the presence inside her -- an ancient Egyptian god -- is determined to claim his consort.
“Should that creature take hold of her, it would unleash untold horrors,” Malcolm warns. “We keep her alive while she fights this thing. We show her she is not alone.”
But Malcolm doesn’t have Vanessa’s best interests at heart. The explorer’s overriding goal is rescuing daughter Mina (Olivia Llewellyn) from a diabolical captor, meaning Vanessa is expendable.
“You’re now in a very special place, between our world and another,” Malcolm tells Vanessa at her bedside. “Perhaps between life and death itself. As is our Mina. You must be close to her. Reach out to her. Find her!”
“All of this, you wanted it,” cries Vanessa, stung by betrayal. “How cruel you are!”
When Ethan overhears this exchange, he lashes out in anger.
“If she’s right, if you let all this happen so you could manipulate her,” Ethan says, “I’ll rip your throat out!”
Vanessa describes the invasive demon as “an animal scratching to get out.” She asks to see a priest, even though she’s “fallen from faith.” And she requests something more. She wants Ethan to end her torment with a bullet.
When Vanessa believes she’s speaking with Ethan, it’s actually the devil in disguise. And what does this terrifying creature demand?
“I want you to be the Mother of Evil,” the demon reveals. “I want you to rule the darkness with me, at my side, looking over a black, scorched, dead world where there is no more pain because there are no more hearts to feel.
"We have eaten them all, thee and me.”
Malcolm reluctantly fetches a priest, Father Matthews (Oliver Cotton), and informs him Vanessa is controlled by “a power beyond our understanding.” As the priest prepares to hear Vanessa’s confession, she breaks her restraints and goes on a rampage.
Ethan sticks his revolver in Vanessa’s chest but can’t bring himself to pull the trigger.
“Vanessa. I know you’re still there,” Ethan exclaims. “I’m not going to leave you!”
Brandishing his medal of St. Jude -- the patron saint of lost causes -- Ethan somehow channels an exorcism ritual in Latin. This breaks the horrific spell, causing Vanessa to slump unconscious on the floor.
While recovering from her trauma, Vanessa has a vision of Mina at the Theatre du Grand Guignol, notorious for its grisly depictions of murder and mayhem.
“You should be in bed,” Malcolm says when Vanessa approaches.
“I know where Mina is,” she confidently states.
So it’s off to the theater next week for the Season 1 finale.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times